ERGONOMICS IN THE WORKPLACE
A productive work environment is a safe work environment. Regardless of the type or size of a business, procedures for safety protect the staff, equipment, and business property. By avoiding damage to equipment as well as minimizing injuries, there will be more profit and fewer expenses for the business.
Ergonomics is one of the most-common workplace safety concerns because the non-ergonomic environment may cause various health issues. Carpal tunnel syndrome, sore back, tendonitis, and chronic cold and flu (due to lowered immunity) may come as a result of inadequate or non-existent workplace ergonomic processes.
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging furniture, products, systems and devices so that they fit the people that use them to minimize the risk of injury or harm as a result. The aim is to create a comfortable, safe and productive workspace by bringing together health and design, with positioning and adjustment based on thing such as:
Conducting an ergonomic risk assessment will help organizations understand and review the work systems and designs present in their workspace, as well as to understand if they’re complying with the current legislation in this area.
The Necessity of Ergonomics in the Workplace
Staffs across many industries and occupations are exposed to various health risk factors in the workplace. These factors include:
- Body size
- Sensory abilities (vision, hearing)
How to apply the correct ergonomics?
Every individual is different, so the best way to educate and apply correct ergonomics is with a personal workstation assessment. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ ergonomics solution, so it’s about investigating each person to determine his or her requirements. This can be done by a specialist, or a designated staff member who takes the appropriate training.
Chair adjustments: An employee should be shown how to adjust his/her chair, which needs to be at a comfortable height with feet lying flat on the floor and knees as at a 90° angle. The individual’s back should be supported by the back and seat pan, preferably with a chair with lumbar support. The user should sit up straight in the seat, and be encouraged to take regular breaks away from the screen and walk around the office, even if this is to the kitchen to make the tea round.
Computer monitor: An employee’s screen should be adjusted so that eyes are level or slightly higher than the top of the monitor, to limit the requirement of excessive neck movements. It should also be positioned at an arms-length away from the user.
Keyboard and mouse: The computer mouse should be comfortably within reach of the user, with the forearms, wrists and mouse parallel to the desk. Wrists should be in a neutral position and is best assisted by a wrist or palm support. The keyboard should be slightly tilted and also at a comfortable distance.
Other accessories: Any equipment used by the employee should not require strained, repetitive or awkward postures or motions. This includes phones, headsets, staplers, and calculators for example.